HHS Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2007–2012 (Strategic Plan). People Experiencing Homelessness

11/22/2015

The delivery of treatment and services to persons experiencing homelessness is included in the activities of the Department, both in 5 programs specifically targeted to such individuals and in 12 nontargeted, or mainstream, service delivery programs. To improve the response of HHS programs to homelessness, a crosscutting Departmental workgroup, the Secretary’s Work Group on Ending Chronic Homelessness, meets quarterly to develop, lead, and coordinate a comprehensive Departmental approach to addressing homelessness. The group also supports the Secretary in his role as a statutory member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). The USICH coordinates the Federal response to homelessness across 20 Federal departments and agencies and provides leadership for activities designed to assist families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness with the goal of preventing and ending it in the Nation. The Secretary chairs the USICH in 2007. HHS coordinates extensively with its Federal partners in developing research and program initiatives that will improve access to housing and treatment resources and contribute to ending homelessness.

SAMHSA’s Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program is a formula grant program that funds the 50 States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 4 territories to support service delivery to individuals with serious mental illnesses, as well as individuals with co-occurring substance use disorders or other disabilities, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. SAMHSA provides technical assistance to States and local providers funded by the PATH program, including onsite consultation, collection of annual reporting data, development of an annual report to the U.S. Congress, holding of biannual meetings of PATH program contacts, and identification and dissemination of best practices from the program.

HRSA’s program, Health Care for the Homeless centers, provides individuals and families experiencing homelessness with access to comprehensive preventive and primary care services, including oral health, mental health, and substance abuse services. These services are provided in a variety of settings that promote access, including homeless shelters and mobile clinics. The program currently serves as the source of care for approximately 600,000 people per year.

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